Today, Reps. Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and John Moolenaar (MI-04) introduced the PACE Expanded Act, legislation to strengthen the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
The PACE Expanded Act would support the expansion of current PACE programs and facilitate the establishment of new ones by giving PACE programs greater flexibility to enroll beneficiaries throughout the year, improving PACE access and affordability for Medicare-only beneficiaries, and establishing a pilot program to help test PACE models in new populations.
"The PACE model has been remarkably successful in helping seniors and Americans with disabilities age and live with dignity. As the third-largest PACE state, Michigan's PACE providers deliver critical long-term supportive services for individuals wishing to remain in their homes, which is overwhelmingly the setting Americans prefer. Access to this program makes a real difference, but hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to sit on waitlists to receive home and community-based services," said Dingell. "We must do more to ensure Americans have the option to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. With the PACE Expanded Act, we can put these long-term supports in reach for those who need them the most."
"This legislation will help Michigan seniors who need long-term care and provide them with more options, including the potential to receive care at home without having to travel long distances. That option means a lot to our seniors, especially in rural communities, who can save time and money by receiving care in their own home," said Moolenaar. "This is common sense, bipartisan legislation that reduces red tape and makes the PACE program available to more Michigan seniors. The PACE Association of Michigan does outstanding work for seniors and we are proud to have their support for this legislation."
The legislation is supported by the National PACE Association.
"The National PACE Association is grateful to Representatives Dingell and Moolenaar for their continued strong advocacy for PACE," said Shawn Bloom, President and CEO of the National PACE Association. "Given the rapidly rising numbers of aging Americans and their clear desire to age in place, it is imperative for our nation to encourage the growth of PACE- a holistic model of care well-equipped to meet their complex care needs at home and in the community."
The introduction comes one day after Congresswoman Dingell hosted Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure at Huron Valley PACE for a seniors town hall.
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a model of care that integrates Medicare and Medicaid benefits for eligible beneficiaries. It provides comprehensive medical and social services to seniors and individuals living with disabilities that enables them to live in their homes and communities rather than receiving care in an institutional setting. Dingell, a co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus and the 21st Century Long-Term Care Caucus, also introduced the PACE Plus Act in February to support the expansion of PACE. Moolenaar, Michigan's senior member of the Appropriations Committee, has supported PACE funding through his work on the committee.